Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I knew it was too easy

A little while back, I wrote about how easy it had been for me to enter into a payment plan for our Citi card - 60 months at 0%. Doesn't get much better than that. ...

Until they screw up.

Well, it really started when we closed our bank account and went to the credit union. I called Citi and let them know this was happening and that I was authorizing them to make withdrawals from a different account (actually, decided on the ING account so they couldn't access ALL our funds ...). Anyway, the gal said all was good. And it was. On the 28th, they took the payment from the new account. And they also tried to take it from the old account. I noticed this online and called them ... again ... and explained their error. No problem, the new woman said - after she had spoken with her supervisor and I had been on the phone for a gazillion minutes. But I did think it was taken care of. Mostly because she said it was.

Then the phone calls started. I kept getting calls from a number in Kentucky. I would answer. They would hang up. This was going on several times a day for a week. Finally fed up, I googled the number today and found that it is a Citi collections number. So off I went to call again. This time, my Citi rep was, I believe, from India and very difficult for me to understand. I explained the problem and he looked at my account and said "They are calling because your payment was returned." I would go through the story again and stress that Citi did indeed get their money, but tried to take twice that amount despite my having headed off any problems. His response: See above. It was like a Who's on first? routine. I think I finally have it straightened out now. He assured me the phone calls would stop. I won't be making bets on that holding forever, though.

Being in debt is hard work, you know?

On another note, if you are inclined to pray, would you please send one up for Jenny?She and her husband are going through a difficult job situation right now and are stressed about financial decisions that need to be made. It's hard seeing your sister struggle, even when you are right there behind her.

Hope everyone is having a great week so far!

Sarah

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Can't cut the cable, but did cut the bill!

I got a letter from the cable company a few days ago saying that our Price Lock Guarantee is about to expire, but good news! I can do nothing and it will automatically renew - with a price increase of only $13 a month. The letter went on to tell me what a great deal this was and how easy it was because I don't even have to call them - they'll just start charging me an extra $13 on their own. Aren't they nice?

Anyway, as cable is considered a necessity in our house, and money is in short supply, I called despite the company's great advice. I explained to the woman that it was already a struggle to pay this bill and asked what she could offer me. She immediately "found" a program that costs $15 less than what we are now paying. Um, yes please!

So instead of my bill going up, it's actually going to go down. Of course, half of me thinks "what a racket." But I'm not going to complain. I'm going to say the 15 minutes on hold before speaking with a live person was worth it.

Sarah


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Stockpiling the peanut butter

Stockpiling might be overstating it a bit, but I did buy a stash of big jars last week. The peanut butter aisle was an interesting study. Clearly, some of the sizes and brands had been recently replenished. Others had been there longer. The prices varied widely depending, I presume, on which of the two categories the jars fell. In case there's anyone who hasn't heard, the past season was a rotten one for peanuts. Really rotten. As in, peanuts have now escalated from ordinary, run-of-the mill nut to premium treat. I was able to snag some jars at the lower price and am hoping they last long into next year. Mostly, I didn't want to miss out on some of our favorite Christmas goodies with PB as a key ingredient.

If you use a lot of peanut butter, you might want to try to grab some before it becomes the treat of the rich.

In other news, we only had four trick-or-treaters last night. Which means there is way too much candy within reach.

Sarah